ENTERTAINMENT

5 TV Shows to Binge This Weekend

Why leave the couch on your precious days out of the office? Here, our favourite reasons to hibernate at home, with your new best friend, the remote.

1. Lost in Space

STARRING: Toby Stephens, Molly Parker

Lost In Space

A charming reboot of the vibrant 1965-68 sci-fi adventure series is family friendly, jocular, and occasionally menacing—that beloved robot from the old show has also had a revamp to something more sinister looking, but yes, he still says “Danger, Will Robinson”. Will (Maxwell Jenkins), an unlikely space traveller, is stranded along with the rest of his family, parents Maureen (Parker) and John (Stephens), sisters Judy (Taylor Russell) and Penny (Mina Sundwall), on a far away planet, battling the elements and the more domestic tensions that come with any typical dysfunctional family—marital discord, sibling rivalry, etc. And that’s all before the devious Dr Smith (Parker Posey) turns up. 3 stars (Netflix) · By Deborah Grunfeld

2. Homecoming Queens

STARRING: Liv Hewson, Michelle Law

Homecoming Queens

Children’s show presenter Michelle (Law), whose self-esteem takes a hit when she is diagnosed with alopecia, flees to the home of childhood friend Chloë (Hewson) to hide out and regroup. But Chloë, a survivor of breast cancer, would rather tackle her issues head-on than host a pity party and tries to coax Michelle to let her hair down, literally and figuratively. The journey of these brave young ladies is filled with humour, pathos and frank depictions of the daily physical rituals performed by women with chronic illness, shown with grace and care by series creators Law (in her first on-screen acting role) and Chloë Reeson, who take us on a semi-biographical, but all-too-brief, look into their lives. 4.5 stars (SBS On Demand) · By Cynthia Wang

3. Rise

STARRING: Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez

Rise

Musical theatre-loving English teacher, Lou Mazzucchelli (Radnor) has a vision for Stanton High School’s drama department and wants to breathe fresh air into the school play, much to the chagrin of the current drama teacher, Tracey Wolfe (Perez). Tensions flare when Lou changes the school production from Grease to the far more controversial Spring Awakening, which explores teen sexuality. But life seems to imitate art as these high school kids struggle with their own sexuality and gender identity. While the series feels very Glee-esque at times and has a solid Friday Night Lights vibe (Rise and Friday Night Lights share the same showrunner, Jason Katims), the performances by Radnor, Perez, and the extended teen cast are inspiring and heartfelt. 4 stars (Stan) · By Alexandra McCarthy

4. The Alienist

STARRING: Daniel Brühl, Dakota Fanning

The Alienist Dakota Fanning

Children are being murdered on the streets of New York in 1896, but few cops seem fussed to solve the crimes, possibly because the victims are young male prostitutes. That’s where alienist—what today would be called a criminal psychologist—Dr Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl) comes in. Together with newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans), NYPD employee Sara Howard (Fanning), and two innovative detectives (Douglas Smith and Matthew Shear), he is determined to find a potential serial killer on the down-low, even if he has to confront the dark and seamy underbelly of Manhattan. Based on the best-selling 1994 novel by Caleb Carr, The Alienist has film-quality period detail and expansive sets, but covers the dawn of forensics over 10 compelling episodes. 4 stars (Netflix) · By Gavin Scott and Cynthia Wang

5. Westworld (Season 1)

STARRING: Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins

Westworld James Marsden

If you’ve lost the plot when it comes to Westworld—and that’d be understandable, since Season 1 ended in December 2016—it might be worth a refresher ahead of the long-awaited second season’s premiere on April 23. For newcomers, the basic premise of the show is simple: Westworld is a Wild West-styled theme park where wealthy visitors can live out their most violent fantasies, killing or assaulting the park’s legion of robotic Hosts without consequence. But the show runs much deeper than that, with a complex and mysterious mythology to rival that of Lost. Every episode poses new questions about what’s really going on at the park and just how self-aware the Hosts are, and when the answers come, they’ll often take you by surprise. Featuring a brilliant cast, including Wood, Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Luke Hemsworth and Jeffrey Wright, the HBO series will surely become one of the most dissected and debated shows on TV once again, so there’s no better time to get up to speed. 4 stars (Foxtel Now and On Demand) · By Gavin Scott

For all the insider details on Westworld Season 2, get this week’s WHO Magazine, on sale now.

WHO Weekly

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